Environmental News from Europe:
The European Commission hopes to jumpstart a large-scale rollout of solar energy and rebuild Europe’s solar manufacturing industry as part of its bid to wean countries off Russian fossil fuels, a draft document seen by Reuters showed.
“Solar electricity and heat are key for phasing out EU’s dependence on Russian natural gas,” the Commission said in the draft, due to be published next week in a package of proposals to end the European Union’s reliance on Russian oil and gas.
Solar photovoltaics (PV) costs have plunged by more than 80% over the last decade, but the technology produced only 5% of EU electricity in 2020. Solar’s share in heat production was even lower, at 1.5%.
Brussels would launch a “European Solar Rooftops Initiative” to help cut gas-fuelled power and heating in homes, offices, shops, and factories, the draft said.
The scheme would require the EU and national governments to take action this year to limit permitting times to three months for rooftop installations. It would push countries to use EU funding and launch support programs for rooftop panels and install solar energy in all suitable public buildings by 2025.
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